The Marine Recreational Information Program relies on regional surveys, which collectively produce more comprehensive recreational fisheries statistics. Some of these surveys are designed and implemented by state natural resource agencies, such as the surveys in Alaska, Louisiana, and Texas. Some are conducted through the Fisheries Information Networks, with funding from NOAA Fisheries.
On the Atlantic (Maine–eastern Florida) and Gulf (Mississippi–western Florida) coasts, as well as Puerto Rico and Hawaii, the Access-Point Angler Intercept Survey and the Coastal Household Telephone Survey collect recreational catch rate and effort data, respectively. In the South Atlantic and Gulf subregions (North Carolina–Louisiana), headboat catch rate data are collected through the Southeast Region Headboat Survey; estimates for these sub-regions only include charter boats in the for-hire sector.
The For-Hire Survey was developed to fill gaps in the Coastal Household Telephone Survey’s coverage of charter and headboat angler effort on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. The Southeast Region Headboat Survey samples and monitors the recreational headboat fishery in the south Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, and the Large Pelagics Survey samples anglers and boat captains who fish for large pelagics/Highly Migratory Species along the Atlantic coast.
The Access-Point Angler Intercept Survey and the Coastal Household Telephone Survey do not collect data on the Atlantic Coast during January and February (wave 1), except in North Carolina and Florida. These surveys are only conducted from May to October (waves 3–5) in Maine and New Hampshire.
Marine recreational fishing in Texas, in Alaska, and along the Pacific Coast (as part of the Pacific Coast Recreational Fisheries Information Network, or Pacific RecFIN, in California, Washington and Oregon) is monitored by state natural resource agencies. West Pacific U.S. territories are not currently included in the national survey program, but pilot studies have been and are being conducted to develop appropriate survey methods.
For more details about the changes in MRIP coverage, see Program Evolution.